Rensselaer Alumnus Honored with Life Time Achievement Award for Career in Renewable Energy Integration

Posted May 8, 2018
Nicholas Miller

(TROY, New York). Senior technical director of General Electric’s Energy Consulting Group Nicholas Miller (‘79 and ‘80) received recognition at a recent ceremony in Tucson, Arizona for his contributions as an inventor and technology developer with a lifetime achievement award from Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG) – a prestigious professional special interest group that provides critical analysis for wind utility applications. Miller has spent more than 15 years working on renewable energy integration with smart power grid technology. He also holds many wind and solar power energy patents and advises across the globe on power grid efficiency.

UVIG executive director Charles Smith lauded Miller for having dedicated his career to finding the most effective and efficient ways to integrate wind and solar energy into electric power grids. According to Smith, Miller’s work on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Western Wind and Solar Integration Study was ‘pioneering and vital to the future of the [power] industry.’

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award from such a highly accomplished and diverse group of experts,” Miller said of his recognition. “I look forward to continued collaboration with my peers to find ways to push the envelope to integrate more renewables onto the grid.”

Nicholas Miller - WindmillMiller earned both a bachelor degree in Electric Power Engineering and masters of Engineering in Electric Power from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s School of Engineering before spending nearly 40 years with power giant General Electric.

“As an RPI graduate, I walked into work the first day with an unparalleled level of respect and credibility for a new engineer,” Miller reminisces. “An entire career later, it is a point of pride for me; [one] met with respect that I’m an alumnus of the program.” Miller goes on to say that the ‘power program’ was very well-known making him an in-demand engineer when he graduated.

The system engineering group at GE, now Energy Consulting, has a long history and close relationship with RPI. National Academy of Engineering Member and Institute Professor Joe Chow was one of Miller’s first mentors at GE. The GE Edison Award Miller received in 2017 allowed him to direct a grant from GE to the Department of Electrical, Computing & Systems Engineering (ECSE) enabling new faculty member Dr. Luigi Vanfretti to further develop a real-time simulation laboratory that, according to Miller, will be of immense value to the power industry. Miller’s father Edward, RPI engineering graduate from the class of 1946, spent a full career at GE during its glory days of steam turbines. He held many patents and achieved some engineering firsts as steam turbines got bigger, more efficient, and cleaner over the decades of his tenure. “His engineering and inventions are still found today on steamers,” Miller says of his father’s accomplishments. [Edward] Miller was recognized at the formal alumni dinner in 2016 for 70 years of dedication to RPI, service to GE, contributions to the power industry, and philanthropy, among other accomplishments.

Miller’s family has an impressive legacy at RPI that, in addition to his father, includes brothers Nelson Miller (’71) and R. Scott Miller (’75), daughter Erin Miller (’12 and ’13), and eight extended family members.

At the invitation of Department Head Michael Wozny, Nicholas Miller will address the ECSE 2018 Grainger Award recipients in April. The Grainger Award is a distinguished honor for engineering graduates entering the electric power industry or conducting research in electric power.

Story author: Leah Scott

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. For nearly 200 years, Rensselaer has been defining the scientific and technological advances of our world. Rensselaer faculty and alumni represent 85 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 17 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 8 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 8 members of the National Academy of Inventors, and 5 members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, as well as 6 National Medal of Technology winners, 5 National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With 7,000 students and nearly 100,000 living alumni, Rensselaer is addressing the global challenges facing the 21st century—to change lives, to advance society, and to change the world. To learn more, go to

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